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There are more than 12,000mi (19,312km) of trails to explore in Michigan, and the four seasons only enhance the state’s natural beauty as you venture along coastlines, forests and canyons. Whether it be in the golden hues of autumn, on the white paths of winter or under the blue skies of spring and summer, Michigan is hard to match for the outdoor pleasure and adventure of following the trail.
The Jordan River Pathway is a fairly difficult 18.8mi (30.45km) loop that takes around two days to complete, making it a popular trail for weekend hikers around Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. There are enough climbs to make it a serious test as you gaze into the valley while climbing up and down. There is plenty of wildlife along the Jordan River too. Beavers building dams and herons wading are commonplace, and in the spring there are a lot of mosquitos, so bring repellent or wait until October when the whole valley turns golden-yellow and red.
When you hike this 11mi (17.7km) trek, you can work your way up to some incredible views of the river twisting and turning below you. However much ground you cover, it is more effortless than other trails in this region. If you choose to do the full 31.1km (19.3mi) loop, you will likely want to camp for at least a night. There are campsites available that come equipped with the basics. In Seaton Creek you’ll find campsites next to a waterfall, which is the highlight of this hike by far.
This all-year-round trail in the Pere Marquette State Forest, close to Traverse City, appeals to hikers and mountain bikers alike, but it is also Michigan’s best ski trail. Come winter, it plays host to those who like to slip on cross-country skis and take on the snow-covered terrain. It is a 26mi (42km) loop that brings you close to all kinds of wildlife, including the prospect of black bears. In hunting season, it is wise to wear bright orange for your protection.